Award-Winning Documentary, Finding Courage, now available on Faluninfo TV
A new documentary movie about a Falun Gong practitioner and her family has just been made available for online streaming worldwide after spending months playing at film festivals and winning numerous awards.
The movie, “Finding Courage”, tells the harrowing but hopeful story of Yifei Wang, a former journalist for the Chinese Communist Party, living in exile in San Francisco. As a new immigrant who doesn’t speak English, Yifei struggles to adjust to the freedoms of American society and find ways to seek justice for the murder of her sister and wrongful imprisonment of her brother. Along her journey, Yifei faces the life-and-death decision of telling her family’s story publicly, knowing that it can mean arrest, torture, or even death for her family members still in China.
The story of Yifei’s family, captured by the filmmakers over a period of four years of filming, gives a truly unique insight into the personal determination and courage of Falun Gong practitioners that have allowed them to endure brutal torture and persecution and the operations of the CCP that have allowed such a tragedy to continue to this day.
The filmmakers captured the real story of Yifei as it unfolded in real-time. Yifei’s brother, Leo, was released after 13 years in prison and escaped to China, and the filmmakers were able to film his arrival, dazed and confused, and follow his process of healing and his journey to carry out the wish he had made when he was in prison.
Then, in an amazing turn of events — also captured by the filmmakers and cleverly woven into the movie’s narrative — Yifei’s husband in China decides to enter the labor camp where their sister was murdered and ask questions of the camp authorities, capturing stunning admissions from them and making his footage available to the filmmakers.
Veteran producer, but first-time film director, Kay Rubacek, spoke of Yifei and her family’s bravery on a statement on the film’s website: “The access we gained to this story, due to the bravery of this family of survivors, astounds me to this day. It was their resilience that provided me the courage, as a first-time director, to traverse the difficult journey across cultural, linguistic, and political divides to interweave all the elements of this story into a single film about one family’s search for freedom and justice.”
Rubacek, who doesn’t speak Chinese started the project with New York-based film company, Swoop Films, as a short movie. But after gaining access to exclusive interviews with witnesses and former CCP insiders, as well as the secret labor camp footage, she and her co-producers felt they had no choice but to turn the movie into a feature-length film.
“As we began documenting Yifei’s journey, her brother, Leo, who had been in prison serving 13 years for printing Falun Gong flyers, was released and escaped to America with his wife. Traumatized, but in awe of American freedom, Leo and his wife began their journey of healing in front of the camera. Soon we heard Yifei’s family in China were going to visit the labor camp where Yifei’s sister had been murdered because she refused to give up her faith in Falun Gong. The family agreed to use secret cameras to film the process. After they successfully relayed the footage out of China to us, I felt indebted to the family to tell their story in the form of a feature documentary,” said Rubacek.
“Finding Courage” has received top accolades from international film festivals, including the Gold Remi Award at the 53rd Houston International Film Festival (one of the longest-running, and largest film and video competitions in the world) and Best Feature Film, Audience Choice Award, at the Jersey Shore Film Festival. “This may be one of the most important documentaries we have ever received,” said the Jersey Shore Film Festival. “Essential viewing” wrote The European Documentary Magazine. “Hard-hitting” wrote the Journal of Political Risk. “Meticulously documented and profoundly touching” said Hong Kong Bilingual News.
“This may be one of the most important documentaries we have ever received.”
The film pulls back the veil on the much overlooked, misunderstood, and under-reported Falun Gong community, whose unexpected persistence for religious freedom in China has become the sharpest thorn in the side of the world’s largest dictatorship. Falun Gong (also Falun Dafa) is a Buddhist-based spiritual discipline that includes meditation and stretching exercises, and adherence to the principles of Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance. Falun Gong was reportedly practiced by 100 million people in 1999.
The persecution against Falun Gong is the longest-running persecution campaign by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) against its own citizens. The failure of the CCP to eradicate Falun Gong (which former Chinese dictator, Jiang Zemin vowed to do in 1999) has resulted in a total media blackout by the CCP on the popular practice. No Chinese media or media affiliated with the Chinese regime is allowed to report on Falun Gong. This has effectively silenced even media outlets in the West and allowed the CCP to continue to use brutal tactics of torture and brainwashing against Falun Gong practitioners throughout China to this day.